A delegation from the Japanese private sector has paid a working visit to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority as part of a wider program to understand Ghana’s trade and investment climate and explore potential collaborations.
The Japanese who visited under the auspices of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), were made up of members of Japan’s automobile, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, finance and insurance industries among others.
They were accompanied by officials from the Ghana Free Zones Authority and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre who are critical institutions so far as trade and investments in Ghana are concerned.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Executive Vice-President, Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Kazuya Nakajo, said the automobile industry and its ancillary sectors in particular are interested in understanding the logistics and transportation connectivity within the West Coast of Africa which explains their visit to the Port.
The delegation was introduced to the services rendered at the ports of Ghana with particular emphasis placed on developmental projects that are positioning the ports as the leading trade and logistics hub of West and Central Africa.
According to Nana Esi Soderberg, the Deputy Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager, Ghana’s Ports do not only provide a gateway to Ghana’s market, but has been strategically positioned to serve the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Additionally, due to the world class container terminal at the port of Tema, Ghana has become a preferred destination for transhipment cargo destined for other coastal nations within the region.
Chairing the meeting, the Harbour Master at the Port of Tema, Captain Francis Kwesi Micah emphasized that the Port of Tema “can work out the magic” for the Japanese so far as logistics is concerned.
The Japanese delegation were informed about the benefits of using Ghana’s Free zones for business.
The Director at the Tema Export Processing Zone of the Ghana Free Zones Authority Patience Ableze Acorlor, indicated the Authority are able to expedite start up processes for foreign businesses with little bureaucracy among other benefits.
She emphasized however that the companies that establish within the free zones need to export at least 70% of what is produced as well as add value to what is being produced.
“You cannot export raw products from Ghana to Japan under the free zones. You can take land and set up your companies and it can be designated as a free zones area, or you can go into manufacturing for exports, or you can go into services such as I.T. or you can be a commercial company, bring the goods in bulk, break the bulk in Ghana and export to the other African countries,” she added.